We gave up meat in February of 2017. It was an unexpected, abrupt decision led by me, the family carnivore. It began with a Netflix documentary (Food Choices). Yeah, I know…many just roll their eyes at that, but the information the documentary provided led me to seek more and more detailed information–documentaries, books, research, etc., all of which reconfirmed that going plant-based vegan was a good decision.
With 45 years of extensive meat and dairy consumption under my belt, plus less than stellar DNA stats, for me, a completely plant-based diet has been the best choice. The damage my diet has done is done, but I’m hoping the switch to plant-based will provide healing from past indiscretions and protection from my own DNA-based disease potential (Cancer risk and I have 1 APOE4 allele). Plus, I still drink–for now–which is not good for you last time I checked, and am sort of hoping that the plants protect me from that vice (yes, denial, I know…but that’s where I’m at for now). So, the choice to go plant-based, looking at all the research and lack of downside, was a pretty easy decision.
I know the stats and facts that animal product eaters from different diet preferences provide, and I get it. I don’t think that eating meat occasionally, will cause disease. Many of those from blue zones, where people have longer life expectancies, do consume some meat and dairy. The key words in these two sentences are OCCASIONALLY and SOME. Before we switched to plant-based, we ate meat almost EVERY DAY with EVERY meal, and most Americans do as well. Every day and every meal are NOT ‘occasionally’ and ‘some’. ‘Every day’ and ‘every meal’ that frequency can catch up with a person’s health.
Plus, corporate production of animals is horrifying. It just is. If I were ever to eat meat again, it would be only if I knew all the details of the animals life. I don’t care if that makes me pretentious—what you eat is what you are, literally. If you choose to eat animal products, eat the BEST ones…buy from local farmers directly, go hunting or fishing in areas where you know the wildlife is healthy. I know it is more expensive…I’ve eaten factory raised chicken and pink slime hamburger because it fit my budget—but I won’t do that ever again. If you eat LESS animal-based food, you can eat higher quality, more expensive animal-based food.
Besides health and animals, there are the environmental factors associated with meat and dairy production that I can’t ignore. Commercial production of animals to eat is more environmentally hazardous than growing plants. It’s just basic fact. Rather than restate, here are some resources on this fact:
- Meat and Environment – Scientificamerican.com
- Wikipedia – Environmental Impact of Meat Production
- Livestock Revolution and Environment – News.stanford.edu
Food has always been important to me…well before I gave up meat. Eating REAL food is best and eating mostly plants is amazing for humans. I have a goal to live to 120, maybe I’ll make it, maybe I won’t, but my diet is part of the work to get to that goal. Some say live hard, die young—for me it’s feed your body what it needs so you can live long and prosper.
So, I will always rant about the health benefits of not eating animal-based or highly processed foods, because the power plant-based food is amazing and I could just go on about it forever. I do, however, realize that constantly stating that bacon is a class 1 carcinogen while I’m drinking bourbon on the rocks is just a bit hypocritical…so feel free to put me in my place if my horse gets too high 😉
Are you a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian…what do you eat and why? Let us know with a comment!
Kelly (& Steffan)